The 21st century has brought with it incredible technical advances, but at what cost? We work more hours, we skip important meal times, we binge drink caffeine like it’s going out of fashion, and when we do eat, it’s not usually the sort of food we should be putting in our bodies.
It’s a sad fact of society when most folk can’t find the time to look away from the screen and enjoy an actual meal. Even if that meal is a simple sandwich, cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit (if you’re feeling the need for a bit of sugar).
Modern life, however, seems to have overtaken the need for healthy breakfasts, lunch breaks, a healthy snack, and dinner. Most people wake, wash, grab a coffee and are out of the door within half an hour. They sit on the train, drink more coffee, catch up with emails on their phones, grab a chocolate bar, get to work and drink more coffee, skip lunch because of those ever-increasingly tight deadlines, and spend their days rushing from one place to another before returning home too tired to cook a meal and end up ordering.
We can’t change the way people work, or what companies demand from their workers (although we should); it’s a competitive world, for both the individual and the company. But we can change the way we eat.
Soylent – it’s not people
The tech industry is infamous for its fast-paced lifestyles. Developers, gamers, people on the frontline of technology, are all guilty of skipping meals, drinking way too much coffee, and having, generally, a pretty poor diet. It’s little wonder that stress levels are excruciatingly high, and burnout is rife among the average city-tech. A well-balanced diet can alleviate the build up of toxins from poor food and drink choices, helping the individual feel better in themselves, and ultimately being better focused and having more energy when at work.
This is where the Silicon Valley developed food source comes in. Soylent started life in 2013, based on the premise that basic nutrition shouldn’t be difficult. The founders of Soylent spent their tech-related working youth living off a diet of instant noodles, frozen corn dogs, and other equally unappetising ‘meals’. Their mission: make unhealthy and unsustainable foods obsolete. It’s a bold mission, and one that can easily be implemented with a few simple adjustments to your own lifestyle.
Soylent’s impact in the US is significant, and thankfully, it’s now available here in the UK; and it’s about time too. While there are plenty of supplements available, Soylent differs in being a complete meal replacement. Within each ready-to-drink, 414ml bottle, you’ll find 20g of protein, 400 calories, and 26 vitamins and minerals. The bottles come in three flavours: Cacao, Café Mocha and Original, and can be purchased in cases of twelve for £39.99; just £3.33 per bottle.
Each meal-replacing bottle is designed to pack the maximum amount of nutrients, as well as being vegan and nut-free. Soylent uses plant-based proteins and requires less water to make and produces less CO2 than traditional livestock. It also has an impressive year-long shelf life, and only requires refrigeration once it’s opened. This makes it extremely easy to grab and go on the way to work, or even when at work if the company packs bottles of Soylent in their vending machines as opposed to cans of soft drinks.
It’s not the end of eating
Soylent isn’t designed to replace eating food, nor is it designed to supplement a meal you’ve already had. As mentioned above, it’s primary focus is to help change the way we plan our nutrient intake over the course of our busy lives.
With a couple of bottles of Soylent to hand you can cover breakfast and lunch, and because the Café Mocha bottle contains caffeine you’re also going to get a nice boost when you need it most.
According to a survey completed by over 2,600 individuals from the tech industry, gaming, and university students, the need for a quick, but healthy, meal replacement is vital. On average, hard-core gamers skip a meal five times per week, with a quarter skipping a meal once a day. Workers in the tech industry also skip a significant number of meals, with over half skipping breakfast and opting for a less-than nutritious lunch.
Take outs provide at least two meals a week for gamers, and in some cases four to six times a week for tech workers; with pizza topping the list of popular take away foods. Snacking instead of having a proper meal is a problem, too. Students and gamers tend to snack four to five times a week instead of having a full meal, and tech workers tend to average out at around four snacks per week in place of a decent meal.
While traditional home-cooked meals are reasonably high on average, the amount of poor choice meal replacements is worrying. Most people appreciate that it’s not often possible to get a meal in during the day, especially if you’re knee-deep in work. However, consider the long-term effects of skipping meals, or instead having something less nutritious.
Better food, better you
In short, most of us need a better way of getting necessary nutrients into our bodies while still maintaining our lifestyles. Ultimately, most of us could simply do with slowing down and taking the time to have a proper meal, but that’s not something a lot of folk can manage. Until that time, the need for a better diet could possibly be in the form of Soylent.
We’ve got a two-week trial of Soylent, and we’ll be trying it out to see how well it fits into our lives. Keep an eye on our Twitter account, @bdmpubs, and on here to keep tabs on how we’re doing.
Soylent is available from Thursday 20th September, via Amazon at £39.99 per case of 12 bottles; with more flavours and a mixable powder coming in the new year.
Interested in winning a three-day trial of Soylent? Simply look up our Twitter or Facebook accounts, and retweet our Soylent Competition post along with the tag #Soylent, together with tagging two other people who you think need Soylent in their lives.